Archive for September 25, 2014

PJI defends Chick-fil-A in high school flap

By the Pacific Justice Institute

VENTURA — The opponents of Chick-fil-A have laid another egg. The Ventura High School football booster club was set to sell 200 meals donated by the local Chick-fil-A restaurant at a back-to-school event. These meals were expected to bring in $1,600 to support the football players. Their plans, however, were met with a cluck by the principal who banned the donation from the event.

Ventura High School Principal Val Wyatt noted as part of her opposition to Chick-fil-A that, “With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus.”

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “Taxpayer-funded public schools have no business going on a witch hunt against benevolent businesses simply because one of its managers was quoted as supporting natural marriage.

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute

” He continued, “Overt actions by government to isolate and punish business owners who express their moral beliefs is an outrageous violation of public trust.”

PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds sent a letter to the principal on Sept. 17 informing her of the legal obligations a school has to not discriminate. Citing the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, McReynolds noted that strict adherence is required not just by businesses, but by schools too.

The letter further noted the free speech rights of corporations, as well as the religious freedom rights of their executives.

Alluding to the irony of banning an organization with supposed diverse views from a school event, one person insightfully commented on PJI’s Facebook page, “So they are going to kick out all the conservative students as well?”

PJI has reached out to members of the booster club offering free legal representation. PJI hopes to ensure that tolerance at the school returns to a two-way – and not a one-way – road.

This week’s homily

Matthew 6: 14-15For if ye forgive men their repasses,

your heavenly Father will also forgive

you. But if ye forgive not men their

Trespasses, neither will your Father

your prespasses.”

Tom and Virginia Boles

By Thomas M. Boles, Phd., DMin., D.D.

On Feb. 9, 1960, Adolph Coors III was kidnapped and held for ransom. His body was found seven months later on a remote hillside.

He had been shot to death. Adolph Coors IV, who was 15 years old at the time, lost not only his father but his best friend. For years, young Coors hated Joseph Corbgett, the man who was sentenced to life for the slaying.

Then in 1975 Adolph Coors became a Christian. He knew this

hatred for Corbett blighted his growth in faith and also alienated him

from other people. Still, resentment seethed within him; He prayed,

asking God to help him stop hating Corbett.

Coors eventually felt led to visit Corbett in the maximum-security unit of Colorado’s Canon City penitentiary. Corbett refused to see him, but Coors left a Bible with this inscription: “I’m here to see you today and I’m sorry that we could not meet. As a Christian I am summoned by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to forgive. I do forgive you, and I ask you to forgive me for the hatred I’ve held in my heart for you.”

Coors later confessed, “I have a love for that man that only Jesus Christ could have put in my heart.”

Coors’ heart, imprisoned by hatred, was at last set free.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.


Patriot’s Day has its day in Whittier

Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Dutra prepares to honor 2014 Patriot’s Award winner Paul Rosenow on Sept. 6, 2014 at Candlewood Country Club as Patriot’s Award co-founder Dr. Ralph Pacheco looks on. Rosenow is president and CEO of Trinity Worldwide Reprographics, which recently relocated to Cerritos after many years in Santa Fe Springs.

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Mason Tellez makes triumphant return to Whittier High

Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson embraces Whittier High School student Mason Tellez, who is also joined by Whittier High School track coach Dan Whittington, whose heroic actions may have saved Mason’s life.

Beloved cross country standout makes comeback after heart ailment

By Juliette Funes

VMA Communications

WHITTIER – Whittier High School student Mason Tellez got a resounding Cardinal welcome from his peers, teachers and friends when he returned to the campus for the first time since recovering from a devastating health event that at one point left him unable to walk or talk.

With the help of his parents, chants and cheers from the audience, and a standing ovation from the more than 2,400 students and staff members at Whittier High, on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, Mason walked across the stage of Vic Lopez Auditorium on his own and gave a heartfelt “thank you” to his Cardinal family.

“Mason is known for his positive spirit and work ethic and is a true Cardinal With CLASS,” said Whittier High School Principal Lori Eshilian. “He has expressed hope of regaining his speech, walking on his own and graduating with his class, and I have no doubt that Mason can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.”

Mason has been undergoing months of extensive therapy and daily rehabilitation since collapsing in March due to an undetected heart condition while he was training with the school’s cross country/long distance track team. Mason returned to school as a senior this week.

As a prelude, Whittier High held a welcome-back assembly that brought Mason and his parents together with the people who saved his life: Dan Whittington, Whittier High’s track coach at the practice, who administered CPR until the police and paramedics arrived, and Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper and Officer Tim Roberts.

While Mason continues to make progress, including walking on his own, carrying on conversation, he is still working on regaining his vision.

“Mason is an extraordinary example of someone who has defied all odds, valiantly and courageously fighting for his own recovery and becoming an inspiration to everyone within the Whittier Union High School District and Whittier communities,” said Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. “Mason’s return to school demonstrates his exceptional spirit and continued commitment to live and thrive.”

Whittier Union and Tellez’s peers have rallied behind Mason since the tragedy, visiting him in the hospital, writing him notes, wearing T-shirts with the supportive message, “Live Everyday Like A Mason Day,” and organizing a track team run from Whittier, Pioneer, La Serna, Santa Fe and California high schools to PIH Health, where he received his medical care.

Mason’s parents, Ellen and Chuck, said they would like to thank everyone in the Whittier community, Whittier High School’s students and staff, for the ongoing love and support their son and family have received throughout Mason’s recovery.

“The outpouring of support and affection from Mason’s friends has gone a long way to help us find strength, and this welcome celebration meant the world to us,” Ellen Tellez said. “It’s my hope that Mason’s story will touch a student who ever considered giving up. Maybe Mason, in some way, will motivate them to keep going, stay positive and keep their spirits up.”